The Property Protocol

David Musick (
Tue, 5 Nov 96 18:50:47 UT

banjo writes: "Actually i take Mr Proudhons' stance that Property (in
Capitalist terms) is Theft. If a mining company discovers, claims and mines a
large seam of coal, then i believe that they have stolen it from me and by
implication, the everybody else (aka The People)."

I can see your point in cases involving natural resources, such as land and
water and coal and mineral ores and so forth. I can kind of agree that these
should be considered to belong to everyone. But when I create something of
value with everyone's natural resources, what I create is mine. My work is
mine. Sure, we all share mineral ores, but if I go through all the work of
mining the ore and refining it and designing an automobile and building it,
then the part of the car that I am responsible for creating is mine alone.
The materials that the car is made of may belong to everyone, and perhaps I
should pay some small rent to everyone to use those materials, but no more
than someone who has a big pile of unrefined ore in "their" backyard. When I
create useful objects, their utility is my creation, and I own that; the
usefulness is something that I personally added; it is not the creation of
everyone, and so it does not belong to everyone.

Natural resources may belong to everyone, but the value added to the natural
resources belongs to those who add that value.

It is important that we interact with each other in ways which respect that.
Redistributing someone's work without their consent is theft.

- David Musick

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